Englishtown: Matt Hagan final report

HAGAN MAKES IT INTO SEMIS IN E'TOWN ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 13, 2010) - On a hot steamy day in Englishtown, N.J., Matt Hagan impressed again by reaching the Funny Car semifinal round of the 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge ...

HAGAN MAKES IT INTO SEMIS IN E'TOWN

ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 13, 2010) - On a hot steamy day in Englishtown, N.J., Matt Hagan impressed again by reaching the Funny Car semifinal round of the 41st annual NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

Driving the DieHard Dodge Charger Funny Car and aiming for a repeat of last week's victory in Chicago, the 27-year-old Angus Cattle farmer from Christiansburg, Va., advanced past Tony Pedregon with a 4.226-second elapsed time at 297.94 mph and Jeff Arend with a 4.194/296.37, but was halted by Bob Tasca III in the semifinal round.

Without lane choice for the first time today, Hagan launched ahead of Tasca at the starting lights, crossing the beams at .063 of a second (.000 is perfect) to Tasca's .093, but Tasca took the lead after the 660-foot mark and won the contest with a 4.154/302.89 to Hagan's 4.187/299.40. Margin of victory: .0032 of a second, or 17 inches!

Hagan extended his third-place standing in the points and is now just 96 markers out of the lead (Robert Hight), and 71 short of third (John Force).

"The DieHard Dodge team had a great day," said Hagan. "I'm proud of (crew chiefs) Tommy DeLago and John Medlen. Those guys are really putting a great race car underneath me. We're working on our hot-weather tune-up as well as getting our cool-weather tune-up down pat. (Hagan won the Chicago event in cooler conditions, setting a national elapsed-time record in the process.)

"Very, very productive day. We secured third spot in the points and I'm really excited to be a part of this DieHard team. (He had been tied in third with Ashley Force Hood entering this event.)

"We came up a little short. I sure would have liked to have gotten a holeshot win on Tasca, but they have a good race car and race team over there. We'll go to Bristol (Tenn.) next weekend, my 'hometown' track, and get them next time.

"It was just a little soft in the middle," he said of that run. "Tommy knew it. We were in a different lane than we were used to, so there was a big variable there and he didn't want to do anything out of the ordinary because we were going down the race track. Why mess anything up? If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

"Those DieHard guys did exactly what they were supposed to this weekend and we're looking forward to Bristol."

Next up is the 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, June 18-20.

-source: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Ashley Force , Jeff Arend , Robert Hight , Matt Hagan , Bob Tasca III , John Medlen